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Zen (2009)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 528 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

'Zen' Buddhist teacher Dogen Zenji is a very important religious person during the Kamakura period, 750 years ago. After his mother died, he decides to move to China and settle as a ... See full summary »

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Title: Zen (2009)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kankurô Nakamura ...
Dôgen (as Kantarô Nakamura)
Yuki Uchida ...
Orin
...
Jakuen / Kugyô Minamotono
Kengo Kôra ...
Shunryô
Ken'ichirô Yasui ...
Gikai
...
Ejô
Masanobu Katsumura ...
Yoshishige Hatano
...
Tokiyori Hôjô
Tianyong Zheng ...
Nyôjô
Masahiko Nishimura ...
Setsu-ô
Shun Sugata ...
Kônin
Shô Aikawa ...
Matsuzô
Takashi Sasano ...
Rôsô
Keiko Takahashi ...
Ishi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kiyomi Doi
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Storyline

'Zen' Buddhist teacher Dogen Zenji is a very important religious person during the Kamakura period, 750 years ago. After his mother died, he decides to move to China and settle as a Buddhist teacher. One bright morning, enlightened, Zenji returns to Japan as a devoted evangelist of the 'new' Buddhism. However, this new form of Buddhism is not accepted in all communities. Written by Rene Guillot

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Release Date:

10 January 2009 (Japan)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Fail of an attempt to describe the life of the great monk Dogen
12 September 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The story is about the life and times of the great (perhaps the greatest) zen monk in Japanese history: Dogen.

Dogen's origin is not well known, but what he's become in his later life is part of the Japanese history and culture. The movie is an attempt to portray his life. I'm not sure how much of this story is based on fact. Dogen is the founder of Japanese Soto zen sect which he brought back from China. None of these background information are elaborated in this movie which I think makes this movie miss its point.

It's based on a biographical novel of Dogen by Tetsuo Ootani who himself is a Soto zen monk. I don't know anything about the novel, but since it's supposed to be the life story of Dogen, I believe this movie should reflect that also. However, perhaps the producers have bit off more than they can chew because I find this movie very incomplete whether looking from Buddhistic point of view, or biographic point of view.

How did Dogen arrive at his view of zen Buddhism should at least be highlighted, but none of that is shown in this movie. I believe that the producers didn't know anything about the subject that they were putting on the big screen. It shows on the choppy way the story advances.

The producers, and also the actors were not the caliber that could describe a story of this magnitude.

Good attempt but fail of a production from the aforementioned reasons.


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